Philippines Day -2: Pool

Without Jenn with me, the pool lesson was more lonely. But we had decided that I should at least finish what I started since we’d paid for it already. When she’s ready to do her dive cert again, I can just tag along and get some more fun time in the water. I had another partner this time, Todd. He had like Jenn had gotten sick before and bowed out to return a month later. Todd a long haired masseuse one would mistake for a hippy was an excellent swimming having been a life guard in the past.

Our first task was to do 8 lengths of the pool. Todd and I made a competition of it and I won. It was a lot harder than I remembered swimming laps though and I was pretty spent. When I got out I couldn’t help but kick myself, this is going to be a hard weekend as it is. Our plans were to join Nicole, Jenn’s friend, at a holiday party, and then an early morning start to Catalina. And here I am being an idiot and wearing myself out right at the start.

Wetsuits on, today’s drills were tougher. Besides re-doing the reg drop and mask removal, we had to take our mask off completely and swim 430 ft then put it on, take off and put on our gear on the surface and under water, remove and replace weights under water and on the surface, and do the a self recovery holding breath and swimming (for the test anyway) a length under water. No problem. My dive buddy Todd also had no issue.

Taking off the gear underwater was interesting though. You yourself are usually buoyant, and wearing a wetsuit are quite positively buoyant. To compensate for that additional weights are added to the gear, in our case to our Buoyancy Compensating Device (BCD), a vest that holds the tank as well. So now imagine what happens when you take off your gear under water, you’re buoyant and are being dragged toward the surface, meanwhile your gear is negatively buoyant and wants to sit on the bottom. If you can’t get things situated in a controlled way holding yourself down you have to do something similar to a crocodile roll to get your vest on and holding you down.

After the lesson I quickly packed up and headed home to meet Jenn so we could drive down together to go to a xmas party with her friend Nicole who was also letting us send the night at their house in Rancho Palos Verdes, much closer to the dock in Long Beach the dive boat was leaving from.

Good times, now just a couple more dives and drills and I’ll be Open Water certified for the Philippines!


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